Trail Blazers

Instant Analysis: Blazers defeat Celtics in three-point shootout

Trail Blazers
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The Trail Blazers and Celtics showed off their elite three-point shooting on Sunday.

With Portland continuing to look like a revived team on their six-game road trip, that newly found energy and focus continued Sunday in another high-scoring contest. 

The story of the game: It was raining threes in Boston at a really high clip.

With the Blazers shooting 58.8 percent from three in the first half, while the Celtics shot 60.0 percent from deep it was all tied at 71 at the break.

After a sloppy start to the third quarter by both teams, Portland picked up their defensive pressure while continuing its efficient shooting to take a five-point lead at the end of the third on their way to a 129-119 victory. 

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The Blazers improved to 36-28 on the season. They haven't suffered a loss on their current road trip with four straight wins. 

 

Thanks to the Blazers defensive presence in the paint early along with Portland’s backcourt, the Blazers took a 34-32 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Celtics were without Kemba Walker (left oblique; strain), while Jaylen Brown (right ankle; sprain), who was initially listed as questionable, gave it a go Sunday. He notched 12 points in the first half thanks to his putbacks and scoring on the wing.

Unfortunately for the Celtics, Brown appeared to re-aggravate the ankle injury in the final minute of the game after colliding with teammate Jayson Tatum. Both Tatum and Brown would exit the game, with Brown having to be helped to the locker room by his teammates. 

Prior to the injury, it was Tatums scoring and playmaking that helped keep the game close after Portlands trio of guards found the bottom of the net at an efficient clip.

Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Norman Powell combined for 49 points in the first half. 

In the fourth quarter, it was all about Jusuf Nurkic's defense, while CJ McCollum took over, while Carmelo Anthony and Norman Powell hit back-to-back daggers in the final seconds. McCollum notched 33 points and five assists in the win. 

Portland finished the game 50.0 percent from three. Boston shot 52.6 percent. 

FINAL BOX SCORE: Trail Blazers 129, Celtics 119  

The Good: 

The Blazers backcourt duo shot lights out.

But really, the entire Portland squad shot well from behind the arc as Robert Covington also got into the action.  

With the Blazers continuing to play as a team on their current winning streak, Damian Lillard was able to get downhill. Whether he was finishing at the rim or dishing out to the wing, Lillard looked healthier than he has lately.

 

Lillard also got a couple of friendly bounces on a couple of his made threes. He finished with 26 points and 13 assists.

CJ McCollum led the Blazers at the half with 18 points on an efficient 6-of-9. McCollum's clutch shooting came up big down the stretch to help secure the win. 

Portland also took care of the ball and only committed two turnovers in the first half.

The Bad: 

Just as the Blazers caught fire from deep, so did the Celtics led by Jayson Tatums efficient three-point shooting. Bostons starting small forward and leading scorer notched 24 points in the first half. Portland held Tatum to just two points in the third. 

Tatum finished with 33 points.

Boston also relied on the efficient scoring and defensive effort from Evan Fournier and the effort from Marcus Smart. Smart was ejected from the game with 1:56 remaining in the fourth after getting a technical foul after colliding with Jusuf Nurkic. 

Following the Blazers' run to take a double-digit lead mid-way through the third quarter, Fournier continued to knock it down from three.   

Boston's bench scored at ease against Portland's second unit. Heading into the final period, the Celtics' bench was 11-for-12 from the field, but it was the Blazers who held a 103-98 lead. 

The Highlight:

Everyone got in on the three-point action:

 

The Stat: 

The Blazers and Celtics were a combined 22-for-37 from three in the first half.

Next up: The Trail Blazers continue their six-game road trip with game No. 5 in Atlanta on Monday. The Blazers and Hawks are set to tip-off at 5:00 p.m. PT on NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers.